You will have significant experiences.
I hope that you will write them down and keep a record of
them, that you will read them from time to time and refresh
your memory of these meaningful and significant things.
Some may be funny. Some may be significant only to you.
Some of them may be sacred and quietly beautiful. Some
may build upon another until they represent a lifetime of
special experiences.
- Gordon B Hinckley

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Surgery Pending...

Dear Family and Friends,

We have arrived at UCLA, one of the cleanest and prettiest hospitals I’ve ever seen.  Everything is new, well thought out, organized and did I mention clean?.  The neurosurgery department is equally efficient and detail oriented.  Everyone is friendly and helpful.  The grounds are beautiful.  The buildings are modern.  The neighborhood is full of medical students running around in their scrubs and apparently is very safe.  

The chief of the neurosurgery department has taken an interest in Zac’s case and will be heading Zac’s surgical team.  He is bringing in his “spine specialist” to assist in the case as well.  As of yet, we do not know who that surgeon is.  The neurosurgeon came very highly recommended by so many people here and at home.  From the desk receptionist to his physician’s assistant, everyone has been beyond complimentary of his skills.  He is a calm, matter-of-fact sort of man.  He agrees that Zac’s tumor is likely an ependymoma.  It’s not the largest he’s ever seen, but he does feel it needs to be taken out immediately.  He has reiterated what the previous neurosurgeons have said, that he hopes to remove the entire tumor.  However, its location might make that very difficult so radiation is still a definite possibility.  He also reiterated that most ependymomas are benign, so we are hopeful that is the case.  The surgery will be long, followed by 5-10 days of hospitalization here before Zac may be transferred to an acute rehab facility to heal the rest of the way.  It all depends on how much of the spine the surgeons have to access to take the tumor out.  

We are staying in a hotel tonight then are moving to Tiverton House (like a Ronald McDonald house for grown ups) starting tomorrow.  It’s cheaper and very close to the hospital.  Parking here is $12 per entry (that’s $5 more than CHLA!).    But the neighborhood is walkable and nice.  

Zac is holding up.  He is noticeably nervous.  He keeps saying that he feels like he’s in a dream state and he’s waiting to wake up.  He is tired; exhausted physically and emotionally as the pain of the last year has taken its toll.  We are excited to know that pain will be coming to an end soon.  All his pre-op work has been done today so we are ready to go as soon as the surgeons are.  We are hoping for tomorrow but there was mention of the goal being before the weekend.  I can’t imagine having to wait that long, but we have no control.  At least he’s admitted now and has access to medications to make him more comfortable and help him sleep.  I will send out an update as soon I know something concrete.  

Zac has been truly touched by all your attentiveness and prayers.  He’s a man of few words, but he did tell me that he doesn’t feel he deserves so much kindness.  As his wife, I feel that he deserves so much more than I can give him.  Please keep your prayers coming.  Please ask that the spinal surgeon would be the perfect one for Zac’s condition.  Please ask that the entire tumor would be removed and that it would be benign.  Please ask for radiation to be unnecessary.  Please ask for no additional injury to his nerves.  Please ask that Zac would understand how worthy he is of prayer and support and complete healing.  We love you all so much.  

Believe in Miracles,

The Bollinger Family

1 comment:

  1. Will definitely keep you and your husband in my prayers.